Turkish companies enter Azerbaijani mining industry

Turkish companies have been given the green light to use three major ore deposits in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region after signing contracts with Azerbaijan’s economy ministry this week.

Eti Bakır A.Ş. Company, the largest operator in the Turkish mining and metallurgical industry, will carry out study, research, exploration, development and exploitation activities on the Gashgachay deposit. The same rights have been granted to Artvin Maden A.Ş. on the fields of Elbaydash and Aghduzdagh.

The duration of the two contracts is 30 years as defined in a presidential decree signed on May 29, 2021.

“We believe that this important step will play an essential role in launching the extractive industry in our liberated territories, by facilitating the exploration of high potential fields and encouraging their contribution to our economy. It will also accelerate the economic reintegration of the region, ”Azerbaijani Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov said. tweeted Thursday.

The Aghduzdagh ore deposit is located southeast of Kalbajar, one of the districts liberated from Armenian occupation by the Azerbaijani army in last year’s war. The deposit is said to have a simple mineral composition. About a hundred gold-quartz and quartz-carbonate veins are thought to have spread over the land. Significant industrial gold mineralization has been identified in 5 of the veins.

The dominant mineral in the Aghduzdagh veins is quartz, which accounts for 95 to 98 percent of the total mass of the ore. Other minerals such as pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galena, magnetite, free gold, altaite, aikinite, mercury and others make up 2-3 percent. Gold ores in Aghduzdagh are found in two classifications – pure gold and gold electrum, which contain 35-40% silver.

The Elbaydash copper-polymetal deposit and the Gashgachay fields are both located on the slopes of the Murovdagh mountain range on the northern edge of the Karabakh region.

The mineral reserves of the Azerbaijani region of Karabakh (Garabakh) had long been exploited illegally by Armenia. According to reports, Azerbaijan was unable to use 1,250 tons of gold, 4,550 tons of silver, 1.84 million tons of copper, 662,000 tons of lead, 775,000 tons of zinc, 152,000 tons tons of cobalt, 2.25 million tons of chromium, as well as 189 million cubic meters of sawn stone, 1.5 million tons of clay, 4 tons of mercury, 130 million cubic meters of sodium limestone and 147 million tons of cement raw material reserves in the Karabakh region due to three decades of illegal Armenian occupation. Johns Hopkins University in the United States estimates that Jabrayil and Zangilan Districts alone have 150 million tonnes of oil and 258 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves.

Dozens of Armenian and other foreign companies have been implicated in illicit operations in more than 60 mineral deposits in the previously occupied districts of Kalbajar, Zangilan, Lachin, Khojavand and other districts of Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani region of Karabakh (Garabakh) fell under Armenian occupation in the early 1990s during a bloody war that lasted until a ceasefire agreement was reached in 1994. In As a result, Armenia occupied 20% of internationally recognized Azerbaijani territories. More than 30,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis have been killed and a million have been evicted from these lands as part of Armenia’s brutal ethnic cleansing policy.

On September 27, 2020, the decades-old conflict between the two countries escalated after Armenian forces deployed on occupied Azerbaijani lands shelled military positions and civilian settlements in Azerbaijan. During the 44-day counterattack operations, Azerbaijani forces liberated more than 300 settlements, including the towns of Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Gubadli and Shusha, from nearly 30 years of illegal Armenian occupation. The war ended with a tripartite declaration signed on November 10 by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. According to this statement, Armenia also returned to Azerbaijan the occupied districts of Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin.

The liberation of lands formerly occupied by the Azerbaijani army last year also restored control over vast ore deposits in the Karabakh region.

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